Major Wins in Albany Democratic Primaries Pave Way for Progressives

City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan's resounding victory in Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary overshadowed a broader story about the city's political present and future that played out further down the ballot.
September 12, 2013

City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan's resounding victory in Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary overshadowed a broader story about the city's political present and future that played out further down the ballot.

Sheehan not only swamped her opponent, former Councilman Corey Ellis, by an unofficial 37-point margin; she also watched as allies racked up wins in primaries across the city, laying the groundwork for a progressive coalition to move from the margins of city government to the seat of power.

In the only other citywide race on the ballot, Sheehan ally Darius Shahinfar also won big in his bid to succeed her as city treasurer.

"It's not all of a sudden that yesterday we beat the great big monster," one longtime city progressive activist said of the county's once ironclad Democratic machine. "Despite the fact that great big monster has been gone for 20 years or more, the progressives were never able to do anything with the vacuum."

That is, perhaps, until Tuesday.

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